Norway attacked by Christian extremist
When innocent people are killed and the fog of war has yet to be lifted, it’s not uncommon for the press to assume that any terrorist actions must be the work of Islamic fundamentalists. As far as they are concerned, only the Muslim faith can indiscriminately kill innocent civilians. How easily they forget men like Timothy McVeigh or Scott Roeder; men motivated by their religion (in their cases, Christianity) to commit calculated murder. The Oklahoma City bombing was, until 9/11, the most devastating domestic attack on civilians, perpetuated by a home grown Christian fundy angry at the government for the slaughter of 76 people in Waco, Texas (he was not entirely unjustified for his anger. The Branch Davidians were massacred by the FBI). McVeigh saw the government as his enemy, and by extension, all those who had any connection with it were deemed enemies.
A similar angry brewed inside Anders Breivik, who viewed the left leaning political Labour Party as the enemy of European (i.e., white) hegemony. Multiculturalism – and in particular the Islamization of his country – were the enemy, and so he conjured a plan to attack a youth retreat organized by the party. He believed such an attack would act as a rallying cry for his fellow citizens to take violent action against their darker skinned citizens. In total, he (and perhaps an accomplice) killed 68 people and wounded 90 more.
Breivik counts Geert Wilders as one of his, a man recently acquitted of enticing violence against Islam (makes you wonder if perhaps there wasn’t something to the accusation. In any case, Norway is now deeply scarred by these events. It’s a reminder that terrorism is employed by all manner of religious fundamentalists. One does not the promise of 72 virgins to explode a car bomb: any old faith will do, so long as the principle tenants demand the destruction of unbelievers.
When will the headlines of such horrible tragedies finally read “Religious xenophobia (mixed with equally ignoble patriotism) claims more victims”?